Texas Nature Trackers
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
(800) 792-1112 ext. 8062
Texas Whooper Watch: Whooping Crane Look-alikes
American White Pelicans can look like Whooping Cranes in flight. They have a large wing-span (9 feet), and the long bill can give the appearance of a long neck in flight. Unlike the Whooping Crane, their legs do not extend beyond the tail in flight, and the black on the wings extends all the way to the body. They often circle and soar in large groups.
Great Egrets are common wetland birds. Their long legs extend beyond the body in flight, but the long neck is usually tucked in flight. Their all-white wings have a 4-1/2 feet wingspan.
Sandhill Cranes are related to whooping cranes, but are smaller (4 feet in height; 6-1/2 feet wingspan). Color is gray, with slightly darker wingtips. They can be found in large flocks.
Like Whooping Cranes, Snow Geese are white with black wingtips, but their legs do not extend beyond the body in flight. Wingspan is 4-1/2 feet. They are often found in large flocks.
American White Ibis have long necks and legs that are extended in flight, but they have a long, curved bill. The wings have only a small patch of black on the wingtips and reach only 3 feet in wingspan. They flap and glide in flight.
Wood Storks have long necks and legs that are extended in flight; however, the black on the wings extends all the way to the body. Black may also be visible on the neck and the tail. Their wingspan is 5-1/2 feet. They flap slowly, glide, and soar.